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Criminal Justice student collecting forensic evidence

Criminal Justice

Earn an Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice at Aims

Are you interested in law, police work, forensic science, corrections or other aspects of the criminal justice system? Take your curiosity about law and social order and earn a criminal justice associate degree from Aims. 

The criminal justice field involves much more than law enforcement. Many positions offer critical support to the police, including investigators, evidence technicians and victim advocates. There are also many roles available that support the courts and correctional systems, such as jury commissioners and correctional administrators. The criminal justice system also intersects with many different disciplines in our society, including psychology, sociology, forensics, technology and communications. This dynamic field is continually evolving to reflect changes in technology and our society. 

You can enter the Aims criminal justice degree program with curiosity about the many potential career paths available to you in federal, state and local agencies and private industry. In return, you’ll get support from knowledgeable instructors with field experience in the subjects they’re teaching. You’ll also develop the problem-solving, communication and career preparation skills you’ll need to enter the field. At Aims, you’ll get support in finding the best fit for you within the criminal justice sector, along with an understanding of what employers are seeking from job candidates. 

If you want to learn about the many possible career paths within the criminal justice field, earn an associate degree in criminal justice at Aims and develop the skills you’ll need to start your career.

The Aims criminal justice associate degree program offers two degree track pathways designed to help you meet your educational and career goals: 

  1. If you plan to continue on to earn a bachelor’s degree at a participating public four-year Colorado school, you can choose the criminal justice Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree with designation.
  2. Alternatively, you can pursue a criminal justice Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree and enter the workforce directly after completing this two-year program. 

Turn Your Interest in Law Into a Career in Criminal Justice

Aims Degree Video - Criminal Justice - Criminal Justice

Aims instructor Donna Norwood shares how the Aims criminal justice associate degree program gives you the knowledge and skills to launch your career.

Gain the Knowledge and Career-Building Skills You Need to Work in Criminal Justice

The Aims criminal justice degree programs combine classroom knowledge with insight into real-world applications from instructors with direct work experience in the field in which they teach. The coursework draws from three main areas of criminal justice: law enforcement, judicial and corrections, and the various disciplines that support them, such as psychology, sociology and forensic science. 

Study an exciting array of subjects in criminal justice that will help you hone your career path, including:

  • Criminal law
  • Policing systems
  • Judicial function
  • Corrections
  • Constitutional law
  • Juvenile law
  • Criminology

A capstone class allows you to delve deeper into a criminal justice subject area that’s of interest to you.

The Aims criminal justice associate degree program also teaches practical skills that employers want, including emotional intelligence, ethics, critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills. Instructors and advisors can help you prepare a resume and learn interviewing skills, and an Aims job fair gives opportunities to practice those skills with potential employers.

Aims Criminal Justice Xplore Academy Summer Classes

Have you ever thought about a career in criminal justice or law enforcement? Join the Aims Criminal Justice and Police Academy programs for an exciting week of learning from criminal justice professionals. 

This three-day program is FREE for high school students ages 15-18 years.

Criminal Justice XPlore Academy events include:

  • Building Search {the ultimate hide-and-seek)
  • Traffic Stops (tag... you’re it!)
  • Crime Scene Analysis (your chance to be a detective)
  • Arrest and Handcuffing (MMA)
  • Monitoring Radio Traffic (copy that?)
  • . . . and more!

The 2023 Criminal Justice Xplore Academy starts Monday, July 23.

For more information and to register, contact the Aims Criminal Justice department at or 970-829-5212.

Earn a Criminal Justice Certificate

High school students interested in exploring a career in criminal justice can earn two certificates at Aims. For each of these certificates, you can earn dual credit in both high school and college at Aims. The Aims criminal justice certificate courses can also apply toward earning either the A.A. criminal justice degree or the A.A.S. criminal justice degree.

  • Criminal Justice Pathways Basic, Level I Certificate
  • Criminal Justice Pathways Basic, Level II Certificate

Launch Your Career in Criminal Justice

If you want to learn the technologies and skills used within various criminal justice systems today, the Aims criminal justice associate degree program can help you find entry-level positions within this ever-changing field.

Examples of criminal justice careers include:

  • Law enforcement officer
  • Corrections technician
  • Probation officer
  • Social services specialist
  • Forensic science technician
  • School resource officer
  • Victim’s assistance specialist
$61,930 forensic science technicians - median annual pay Bureau of Labor Statistics
$95,450 detectives & criminal investigators in CO - annual mean pay Bureau of Labor Statistics
$76,730 emergency management directors - median annual pay Bureau of Labor Statistics
$56,810 correctional officers in CO - annual mean pay Bureau of Labor Statistics

Criminal Justice Faculty & Staff

Learn from instructors from a wide range of disciplines who have professional experience in the subjects they teach. Your instructors can bring that experience into the classroom and teach you the practical applications that extend beyond what you’ll find in textbooks.